Businesses’ Twitter profiles can now display their hours of availability and a button to send it a direct message.
Twitter is playing catch-up with Facebook once again when it comes to becoming brands’ favored social platform for customer service.
Businesses’ Twitter profiles can now display the hours that a company is available to respond to people’s tweets — such as “24/7” or “4am-11pm” — and feature a button people can click to send it a direct message. Facebook rolled out similar features for Pages last year.
Unlike Twitter’s version, Facebook lets Pages define how quick they are to respond — such as “within minutes” or “within a day” — and supplements that Page-provided information with its own “very responsive” badge for Pages that respond to 90 percent of messages within five minutes of receiving them. Twitter doesn’t offer such a badge that can validate a brand account’s availability or have a way to ensure that businesses adhere to their defined availability hours.
Twitter is adding something new to the mix. When people search for Twitter accounts, mention a brand’s account in a tweet or look through their list of direct message threads, they can see “Provides support” detail attached to a brand’s account name; it’ll look like the “Following” tag that’s appended when you see an account that you follow. In order to append this customer-support flag to their account names, brands will need to opt in through Twitter’s Dashboard tool, which is also what they’ll use to set their hours of availability.
Any business will be able to access these new features starting today, but only if they enable anyone to send them a direct message, which can also be set in Dashboard.